ASHGABAT Nov 2 Turkmenistan's President
Saparmurat Niyazov said on Thursday his country earlier this
week discovered a natural gas field with reserves of seven
trillion cubic metres.
Turkmenistan is central Asia's biggest gas exporter but the
reclusive and autocratic state has never disclosed the results
of an international audit of its reserves.
If the find is confirmed, it would dwarf Russia's huge
Shtokman gas field. Its reserves are estimated at 3.7 trillion
"The day before yesterday a massive gas field started
gushing, with reserves of seven trillion cubic metres. It is
the South Yolotan field," Niyazov said at a meeting with German
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
"So the world's biggest field is already flowing in our
country," he said.
Turkmenistan produces about 60 billion cubic metres of gas
a year. Russian gas monopoly Gazprom (GAZP.MM) buys most of the
country's gas and controls Turkmen export routes.